Job growth and replacement needs in nursing occupations
journal contributionposted on 16.11.2016, 00:03 by Shah, Chandra, Burke, Gerald
There are growing concerns of nursing shortages in a large number of countries. In developed countries the ageing of the population is fuelling the demand for nurses while the supply is being affected by the wider occupational opportunities available to women. This paper describes the changes in the nursing workforce in Australia over the last decade and a half. It shows that in spite of ageing of the population and a substantial increase in the number of patient separations, the numbers of Nursing Workers employed per 100 000 population declined in the 1990s from around 1 400 to 1 300. At the same time numbers of Aged Carers employed has increased massively. The paper also provides data on the differences in nursing skill-mix employed, and thus the differences in human resource policies, across different States and Territories. Finally, the paper provides projections of the number of job openings for new entrants, resulting from growth and replacement needs, for the 2002-06 period. This information could be useful in assessing likely shortages, for planning education and training capacity and making budgetary decisions.